HIV Prevention among Truck Drivers
HIV Prevention among Truck Drivers
Experience sharing on HIV prevention among highly vulnerable groups of people.

Challenges

Sex workers of all genders, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, people who inject drugs and people in detention (prison or other closed settings) were especially vulnerable to HIV in all epidemic settings. In this context, clients of sex workers played an increasingly important role in the sexual transmission of HIV. In Ukraine, truck drivers had been identified as a key group amongst this clientele. Thus, there was an intervention to raise awareness about HIV and safe behaviour among truck drivers and decrease unprotected sex. A special training course on HIV prevention for the road transport sector was adapted into the mandatory certificate programmes by the Ukrainian Association of International Cargo Transporters, the organization that unites 3,500 transport companies in Ukraine, involving approximately 200,000 drivers.

The issue with the same vulnerable population group also existed in Moldova, thus the opportunity existed for a South-South cooperation to share the know-how and lessons learned from Ukraine to Moldova.

Towards a Solution

Through a cross-country cooperation initiative, UNFPA facilitated the expansion of the positive experience of Ukraine to Moldova as it developed targeted interventions for truck drivers.  The Ukraine set of interventions was composed of the adaptation of the ILO training toolkit on HIV/AIDS for the road transport sector, institutionalizing the HIV prevention training course, training of trainers, training for managers of the transport sector, and the distribution of information kits and condoms.

The knowledge and experience-sharing initiative included conducting environmental scanning to understand the structure of truck driver networks, identifying relevant partners, undertaking knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices (KABP) surveys among truck drivers to assess practices with regard to HIV and risky behaviour, and formulating action plans.

Results

This partnership generated commitment of the key stakeholders in Moldova, such as the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure, National Agency for Transport Auto, Union of Road Transporters and Road Workers, International Association of Auto Transporters, Training Centre of Staff for International Transportation, Health and Education, as well as other government agencies and NGOs engaged in HIV prevention.  As further proof of this successful advocacy, this planned initiative was incorporated in the draft National AIDS Strategy.

Lessons Learned

While training courses for truck drivers raise awareness about HIV prevention, follow-up mechanisms, such as conducting studies on how the courses have changed their behaviour, would be helpful.  The training design requires the use of peer educators among the drivers themselves; but many are reluctant to serve as such due to lack of free time. Finally, there is a need to improve sustainability further by involving more industry players.

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Contact Information

Mr. Andrey Poshtaruk, Programme Officer United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia | Ms. Alanna Armitage, Regional Director, UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Countries involved

Republic of Moldova, Ukraine

Supported by

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia; International Labour Organization (ILO); German Development Cooperation (GIZ)

Implementing Entities

Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation, the Republic of Moldova; Moldova National Coordination Council on HIV Programme; Ukrainian Association of International Truck Cargo Transporters; Federation of Transport Workers of Ukraine; All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Transport Workers; Moldova Association for Truck Drivers; Moldova National Education Centre for Truck Drivers

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

2018

Primary SDG

03 - Good Health and Well-being

Secondary SDGs

04 - Quality Education, 05 - Gender Equality, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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